“Last year, our focus was original programming. This year is about scaling on that success.” Bold words from Yahoo!’s VP & Head of Video Programming and Originals Erin McPherson, considering Yahoo!’s flagship programming from 2012 including Tom Hanks’ Electric City and Anthony Zuiker’s Cybergeddon (stacked with an all-star Hollywood cast) both claimed little to no viewership.
The rest of the slate announced at Yahoo!’s 2012 Newfront presentation managed to fade off the minds and memories of all in attendance. And with true flare — on-stage celebrity skits with Ed Helms, Zachary Levi, John Stamos, Morgan Spurlock, Cheryl Hines, Rachael Harris and a (beyond-crowd-pleasing) performance from The Lumineers — Yahoo! suited up to deliver the presentation of the day.
And deliver it did.
Despite having to wait in a ridiculously long line outside with the threat of rain, Yahoo! attendees filed into Best Buy Theater with House-of-Cards-topping expectations. While some (we won’t name names) may have been disappointed with Yahoo!’s programming offer this year, the overall spirit was that of enthusiasm.
Even Tanzina Vega from the New York Times noted that this “felt like a CBS Upfront.”
Aside from announcing distribution deals with WWE and Conde Nast as well as an extended agreement with ABC News, Yahoo! previewed nearly a dozen original programs across News, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and of course, Comedy.
“Burning Love cracked the code for scripted, serialized programming online,” according to McPherson. Yahoo! also penned a syndication deal with Broadway Video for the SNL content library late last week. So it comes as no surprise that the content platform is focusing its efforts on the comedy space, despite a rush from YouTube and other platforms like My Damn Channel and Blip to also crash the comedy sector.
Below is a recap of the original shows announced in Yahoo!’s Fall Comedy Lineup and lifestyle programming:
New Comedy Shows (coming to Yahoo! Fall 2013):
- “Tiny Commando” — Ed Helms created and stars, along with Zachary Levi, Gillian Jacobs, and some of the biggest names in comedy, in the Principato-Young Entertainment production, “Tiny Commando,” an action-packed series following a four-inch-tall private investigator who uses his awesome fleet of vehicles to fight crime.
- “We Need Help” — In Vuguru’s “We Need Help,” creators, producers and stars Cheryl Hines and Rachael Harris exploit their shared personal assistant in the series produced by Principato-Young Entertainment and Steve Carr, and directed by Hines.
- “Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos” — John Stamos interviews celebrities about their first sexual experiences in “Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos,” co-produced by Warriors Poets and executive produced by Morgan Spurlock and John Stamos.
New Lifestyle Shows (coming to Yahoo! later this year):
- “Fashion Recipe” — Celebrity stylist Brett Alan Nelson shows you how to get the most from one particular article of clothing.
- “Cinema & Spice” — Julianna Strickland and Natasha Feldman explore food and film while teaching viewers new cooking skills and decorating ideas.
- “Grill Girls” (working title) — A new grilling show featuring Chef Megan Mitchell sharing her grilling secrets and tips for everything from steaks, to peaches and pizza.